val·e·dic·to·ri·an | \ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən \

Definition of valedictorian 

: the student usually having the highest rank in a graduating class who delivers the valedictory address at the commencement exercises

Examples of valedictorian in a Sentence

She was the valedictorian of her class in 1985.

Recent Examples on the Web

To be named high-school valedictorian is an honor for any family. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "New Jersey fraternal twins named co-valedictorians, set to head to MIT together," 24 June 2018 Click through the gallery to see the 2018 Lake County valedictorians. Sentinel Staff,, "Lake County schools valedictorians for 2018," 24 May 2018 Petaluma High School senior Lulabel Seitz was the first member of her family to graduate high school and did so as her class' valedictorian, The (Santa Rosa, Calif.) Press Democratreported. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "A valedictorian went off-script to talk about sexual assault. Then her school cut her mic.," 9 June 2018 For a select few private school students, the grand prize is the title of valedictorian or salutatorian, reserved for the students with the highest grade point averages in their graduating classes. Sue Arrowsmith And Adrianne Richardson, miamiherald, "These are the top 2018 high school grads at Miami-Dade private schools," 5 June 2018 Jaisaan Lovett graduated last month as the valedictorian of University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men, becoming the first black student to ever earn that title. Paula Rogo,, "First Black Valedictorian Speaks At City Hall After High School Denies Him Graduation Speech," 7 July 2018 Xavier Xcel Lightfoot's cool middle name captures how the first African-American valedictorian ever at Pius XI Catholic High School approaches life and success. Jim Stingl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stingl: First black valedictorian at Pius inspires a clothing shop to give him a free suit for Presidential Scholars trip," 19 June 2018 Megan Amedee, the valedictorian from the Nursing Academy, told her peers that life doesn’t stop after high school. Alison Kuznitz,, "Fighting For Dreams, Hartford Public High School Grads Step Into The Unknown," 15 June 2018 Speeches by school principal Rachel Blundell, valedictorian Corrigan Garcia, and salutatorian Bailee Dobson all referred to the May shooting. Terry Spencer,, "‘Keep making us proud,’ Jimmy Fallon tells Parkland students," 3 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'valedictorian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of valedictorian

1759, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for valedictorian

valedictor(y) + -ian

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Statistics for valedictorian

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for valedictorian

The first known use of valedictorian was in 1759

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English Language Learners Definition of valedictorian

: the student who has the highest grades in a graduating class and who gives a speech at graduation ceremonies


val·e·dic·to·ri·an | \ˌva-lə-ˌdik-ˈtȯr-ē-ən \

Kids Definition of valedictorian

: a student usually of the highest standing in a class who gives the farewell speech at the graduation ceremonies

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